1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Oasis of the Seas
This review covers the 12 nighter Southampton to Fort Lauderdale transatlantic cruise, along with the following back-to-back 5 nighter to Nassau and Cozumel. We booked a year ago as we wanted to experience the novelty of this one-off cruise departing from home waters on 'the biggest cruise ship in the world'. Oasis usually operates 7 night cruises from Fort Lauderdale to the sunny Caribbean week in, week out. As someone observed, 'as if it's on rails'. Unfortunately, we found that if this routine is changed, it comes off the rails in a number of important aspects. However there is no denying that Oasis is amazing in terms of its sheer size and unique facilities. The “neighbourhoods” are truly impressive. The ship is a celebration of naval architecture. But this is not to say that it is perfect, because its size and design bring unique problems eg the facilities and layout are geared to good weather cruising (the public rooms are smaller than you might expect – a fact repeatedly made by the Cruise Director) and unfortunately on this cruise the weather was hit and miss. Hence venues struggled to cope with the numbers. Surprisingly, some facilities are missing eg we missed not having an area outside the Windjammer where you can eat, and there is no promenade deck. There were problems with embarkation/disembarkation at Southampton and Fort Lauderdale which are well documented on this forum so we will not elaborate, other than to add our voices to the chorus. It would seem that the ports cannot handle the numbers. We also agree with others that the show and tour booking system was a shambles. We had a severe noise problem with our room on the first night. We spent most of day 2 being promised that a maintenance man would be sent. We were repeatedly told that someone would be with us soon. But the day dragged on and no sign of a maintenance man. He turned up at 22.30. He told us the problem was with the floor, so it couldn't be easily fixed. We escalated the problem with Guest Services and they eventually agreed to let us have another room. They offered to send someone to assist with the move and promised that he was on his way. We waited for an hour and with no sign of help, we decided to move ourselves, which was to the other end of the ship and two decks down. The help arrived as we were taking the last few items. When we later mentioned this to Guest Services, they said that they would send us a bottle of wine; a small but welcome gesture. Alas, we never did receive that wine. So not a good start. Things settled down after that but unfortunately there were other examples of not following through on promises. If there is one piece of advice we would offer to RCI it's 'don't promise what you can't deliver'. Other sundry points: Room Service: One order took 2 hours to arrive despite chasing and being given reassurances. When it did eventually arrive, we were presented with only half the order. On other occasions a 45 minute wait was the norm – far too long. Guest Services: We noticed a strange quirk when queuing up at Guest Services. Lines were often 10 deep and to their credit Guest Services staff were often seen going along the line, presumably to see if they could help with any quick queries. The only trouble was that they started at the end of the line ie the person who arrived last was dealt with first! To make matters worse, they would sometimes undertake to deal with someone's problem and would disappear behind the counter, leaving those remaining in the queue looking around with incredulity. When we mentioned this to the staff concerned, they agreed that it was illogical but that they had been told to operate in this way. In-room TV: The offerings were minimal and the worst we've ever seen. Pre-recorded shows and a few 20 year old movies, all going round on a loop. Movies to rent were too expensive. What a contrast to our Virgin Atlantic return flight; a huge number of entertainment options all included in our basic economy fare. Dining: Adherence to the dress code in the main dining room was largely ignored. Many men wore shorts and open sandals on formal night. It was just one step away from wet speedos and flip-flops. This undermined any prospect of an appropriate dining atmosphere. We felt embarrassed wearing our formal clothes as we were in the small minority. If RCI won't enforce the dress code, then why bother having one at all? Why not scrap formal nights altogether? But that would be a real shame from our perspective. The My Time dining room Silk is rather ordinary in terms of its furnishings and decoration. Tables felt squeezed in. This included at the entrance where tables were, in effect, in a corridor. The waiters tried their best and were accommodating, but always rushed off their feet. But food quality, variety and portion sizes were very good in all the venues we tried. My Time reservations seemed to work well on the 12 nighter. Thereafter we struggled to make reservations by phone. The banner at the entrance – segregating those with reservations from those without – was only employed on a couple of nights. So when it was not employed, those with reservations had to join the same queue as everyone else, rendering the reservation meaningless. The provision of complimentary coffee appeared to be an afterthought ie crude urns that needed manual filling up. Entertainment: Headliner/comedy acts were very old-school. We thought that we'd moved on from that. However the performers in both Come Fly With Me and Cats were excellent. It's a shame that Cats is just such an over-rated show. The main aqua show was excellent, if a little 'arty'. The one-off aqua show on the last day was cancelled at short notice. 'The Quest' needs a re-vamp as too many know what to expect and come prepared. Post-cruise: There was no information provided regarding the specific arrangements for those who had booked transport and a hotel. We were reassured at Guest Services that, quote “don't worry, RCI thinks of everything”. Suffice to say that there was chaos trying to get to our hotel. RCI staff/agents were clueless. Summary: Having re-read this from the top, it all sounds rather grim but it wasn't at all! We had a good time overall and thoroughly enjoyed the 5 meals a day! The ship was impressive but not perfect - no such ship exists. We had issues with how the cruise was run but the crew was, on the whole very good, particularly the waiting staff and the stateroom attendants. Would we go again? Probably not, but we have no regrets and we can now tick it off the bucket list! Looking forward to our next cruise, on a smaller ship!

Oasis Off the Rails

Oasis of the Seas Cruise Review by Flyingpig

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This review covers the 12 nighter Southampton to Fort Lauderdale transatlantic cruise, along with the following back-to-back 5 nighter to Nassau and Cozumel. We booked a year ago as we wanted to experience the novelty of this one-off cruise departing from home waters on 'the biggest cruise ship in the world'.
Oasis usually operates 7 night cruises from Fort Lauderdale to the sunny Caribbean week in, week out. As someone observed, 'as if it's on rails'. Unfortunately, we found that if this routine is changed, it comes off the rails in a number of important aspects.
However there is no denying that Oasis is amazing in terms of its sheer size and unique facilities. The “neighbourhoods” are truly impressive. The ship is a celebration of naval architecture. But this is not to say that it is perfect, because its size and design bring unique problems eg the facilities and layout are geared to good weather cruising (the public rooms are smaller than you might expect – a fact repeatedly made by the Cruise Director) and unfortunately on this cruise the weather was hit and miss. Hence venues struggled to cope with the numbers.
Surprisingly, some facilities are missing eg we missed not having an area outside the Windjammer where you can eat, and there is no promenade deck.
There were problems with embarkation/disembarkation at Southampton and Fort Lauderdale which are well documented on this forum so we will not elaborate, other than to add our voices to the chorus. It would seem that the ports cannot handle the numbers. We also agree with others that the show and tour booking system was a shambles.
We had a severe noise problem with our room on the first night. We spent most of day 2 being promised that a maintenance man would be sent. We were repeatedly told that someone would be with us soon. But the day dragged on and no sign of a maintenance man. He turned up at 22.30. He told us the problem was with the floor, so it couldn't be easily fixed. We escalated the problem with Guest Services and they eventually agreed to let us have another room. They offered to send someone to assist with the move and promised that he was on his way. We waited for an hour and with no sign of help, we decided to move ourselves, which was to the other end of the ship and two decks down. The help arrived as we were taking the last few items. When we later mentioned this to Guest Services, they said that they would send us a bottle of wine; a small but welcome gesture. Alas, we never did receive that wine.
So not a good start. Things settled down after that but unfortunately there were other examples of not following through on promises. If there is one piece of advice we would offer to RCI it's 'don't promise what you can't deliver'.
Other sundry points:
Room Service: One order took 2 hours to arrive despite chasing and being given reassurances. When it did eventually arrive, we were presented with only half the order. On other occasions a 45 minute wait was the norm – far too long.
Guest Services: We noticed a strange quirk when queuing up at Guest Services. Lines were often 10 deep and to their credit Guest Services staff were often seen going along the line, presumably to see if they could help with any quick queries. The only trouble was that they started at the end of the line ie the person who arrived last was dealt with first! To make matters worse, they would sometimes undertake to deal with someone's problem and would disappear behind the counter, leaving those remaining in the queue looking around with incredulity. When we mentioned this to the staff concerned, they agreed that it was illogical but that they had been told to operate in this way.
In-room TV: The offerings were minimal and the worst we've ever seen. Pre-recorded shows and a few 20 year old movies, all going round on a loop. Movies to rent were too expensive. What a contrast to our Virgin Atlantic return flight; a huge number of entertainment options all included in our basic economy fare.
Dining: Adherence to the dress code in the main dining room was largely ignored. Many men wore shorts and open sandals on formal night. It was just one step away from wet speedos and flip-flops. This undermined any prospect of an appropriate dining atmosphere. We felt embarrassed wearing our formal clothes as we were in the small minority. If RCI won't enforce the dress code, then why bother having one at all? Why not scrap formal nights altogether? But that would be a real shame from our perspective.
The My Time dining room Silk is rather ordinary in terms of its furnishings and decoration. Tables felt squeezed in. This included at the entrance where tables were, in effect, in a corridor. The waiters tried their best and were accommodating, but always rushed off their feet. But food quality, variety and portion sizes were very good in all the venues we tried.
My Time reservations seemed to work well on the 12 nighter. Thereafter we struggled to make reservations by phone. The banner at the entrance – segregating those with reservations from those without – was only employed on a couple of nights. So when it was not employed, those with reservations had to join the same queue as everyone else, rendering the reservation meaningless.
The provision of complimentary coffee appeared to be an afterthought ie crude urns that needed manual filling up.
Entertainment: Headliner/comedy acts were very old-school. We thought that we'd moved on from that. However the performers in both Come Fly With Me and Cats were excellent. It's a shame that Cats is just such an over-rated show. The main aqua show was excellent, if a little 'arty'. The one-off aqua show on the last day was cancelled at short notice. 'The Quest' needs a re-vamp as too many know what to expect and come prepared.
Post-cruise: There was no information provided regarding the specific arrangements for those who had booked transport and a hotel. We were reassured at Guest Services that, quote “don't worry, RCI thinks of everything”. Suffice to say that there was chaos trying to get to our hotel. RCI staff/agents were clueless.
Summary: Having re-read this from the top, it all sounds rather grim but it wasn't at all! We had a good time overall and thoroughly enjoyed the 5 meals a day! The ship was impressive but not perfect - no such ship exists. We had issues with how the cruise was run but the crew was, on the whole very good, particularly the waiting staff and the stateroom attendants. Would we go again? Probably not, but we have no regrets and we can now tick it off the bucket list! Looking forward to our next cruise, on a smaller ship!
Flyingpig’s Full Rating Summary
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email